Craigavon Senior High produced a stunning and ruthless display to lift the Senior High Schools’ U16 Cup at Kingspan Stadium with a 55-5 win over Ballyclare Secondary.
Craigavon prop Jay Crozier looked to have opened the scoring in the first minute, but was held up over the line.
However, that had just set the tone and from the resulting scrum, number 8 John Glasgow peeled off to power over.
Four minutes later, centre Bailey Armitage got in for Craigavon’s second score, making the initial break, then finding himself in space on the right wing when the ball was recycled. Joshua Taylor added the extra two points from the conversion.
Armitage’s midfield partner Ciaran Peterson added another try on seven minutes, finishing off a blistering breakaway move following a turnover just outside their own 22. Taylor’s routine conversion made it 19-0.
Peterson cantered in for his second try on 21 minutes, as he profited from some bruising work by the Craigavon pack which wore down the Ballyclare defence.
Two minutes before the break Armitage notched his second try, taking a quick tap-penalty before darting under the sticks, with Taylor converting.
A minute later Armitage had his hat-trick with another excellent breakaway score. Taylor’s conversion gave Craigavon a 38-0 lead at the interval.
In the early stages of the second half, Ballyclare enjoyed some good territory inside the opposition ‘22’ but were unable to pierce through a well organised defence.
At the other end, Craigavon showed a clinical edge, finding flanker Jack Dang at the back of an attacking 5m lineout, who charged over the whitewash.
At the three-quarter mark, Tony Gribben got in on the act after some quick hands left him on the right wing with just one man to beat, which he did with aplomb before dotting down under the posts, with Taylor’s conversion bringing Craigavon to the half century.
Ballyclare’s efforts were rewarded on 50 minutes when a series of big carries brought them up to within five metres, before number 8 Ashley Doherty bustled over to get his side off the mark.
On the final play of the game, fly-half Jamie Hayes spotted space in behind the Ballyclare defence and was able to pick out left winger Taylor with a well placed cross-kick who raced in to touch down and seal the win.
Craigavon SHS: Jack Coulter, Toby Gribben, Ciaran Petersen, Bailey Armitage, Joshua Taylor, Jamie Hayes, Matthew Orr; Jay Crozier, Sam Anderson, Joshua Young, Harry White, Jamie Marshall, Jack Dang, Samuel Glasgow, John Glasgow (Capt).
Replacements: Scott McKinney, Stephen Taylor, Alex Morrison, Devon McCarroll, Joel McClatchey, Daniel Harrison, Jay Anderson, Robert White.
BALLYCLARE SECONDARY: Benjamin Archbold, Ethan McAuley, Carson Todd, Adam Warren (Capt), Kristian Best, Thomas Rea, Bradley Yip; William Stewart, Graeme Coulter, Tom Lindsay, Steven McConkey, Rhys Magill, Samuel McLean, James Henderson, Ashley Doherty.
Replacements: Zak Wilson, Dylan Coyle, Jack Duncan, Tyler Murdock, John Allen, Peter Stewart-McBride, Oran Lormier, Samuel Patterson.